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Tutorial access frustrations

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Brian LynnTutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 2:33:51 pm

I would like to complain, again, about how hard it is to find tutorials on a specific subject.

When I first joined CC tutorials were easy to find. There was a Tutorials link right on the front page at the top, from there you could click on what software you were using and you were done.

Now, I want to find a tutorial on Cinema 4D...

So I look at the menu bar, and I don't see tutorials. So I click on Forums, and realize there is a sub menu. But no tutorials link.

So I click on Articles, even though I don't want to read news, I want tutorials. Ahh! There is a link to tutorials!... so I click it... And I get the top 25 tutorials. Well, where are the others? There is a link for forum related articles... but where is the tutorials? (would take me almost an hour to figure out that Forum Related Articles shows tutorials by category)...

So for the last two weeks, I've been trying to learn Cinema 4D. Before I realized the last part of the above paragraph I was going to Forums, scroll around until I found one by Mylenium, click his link, and scan through all of his tuts, since its the MoGraph ones I was interested in.

Creative Cow is a huge resource for tuts for tons of people... so why the heck is it so hard to find them? Who equates "article" to "tutorial"? I sure don't. Article says to me: review, interview, news item, preview, etc.

What ever happened to the old Tutorials page that had links to every set of tutorials available, broken down into a menu by host app?? That was awesome, the new system is very frustrating. For someone new to CC it could very well be impossible to find Tutorials without a week or two on the site to figure out your non-standard nomenclature. Chances they stay around that long are very very slim if what they are looking for is tutorials.

Do a google search for tutorials and CC comes with major hits, and the links take you straight to the tuts. But trying to come back to CC website directly, and get back to the same tutorial you found on goole the day before, is very hard.

Maybe I'm the only one with issues like this, ignore me if I am, but I belive CC can do a Much better job putting tutorials up front, easy to naviagate, and readily accessable to everyone, quickly!

Thanks,
Brian Lynn


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Brian LynnRe: Tutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 3:00:24 pm

On a side note, I do like the new layout as a whole... Looks nice, and everything work great, access is easy, except for the tutorial stuff...

Love CC! good work guys, you've taught me a TON and I do appreciate it!


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Brian LynnRe: Tutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 3:11:55 pm

"So I click on Articles, even though I don't want to read news, I want tutorials."

Was writing from memory, so this isn't exacly accurate...

Its Library, not Article in this step.

And instead of just filing the complaint, I figured I could/should/would offer a possible solution...

If you are in the breadcrumb "Library>Tutorial" you should be able to quickly and easily click on a drop down list, or just a page like you used to have with all the host apps listed...

The Search is there, but the Seach is text based, and its possible that Cinema 4D tuts will not show up in the search... Try a search for Cinema 4D and many of the MoGraph tuts are missing. I decided to learn MoGraph first since it applies the most to the work I do daily, but searching by host app leaves me hanging... A search for MoGraph gets me what I want, but anyone looking to learn everything they can about Cinema 4D here at CC will get only 4? I think its 4 tuts from a search string "Cinema 4D" and there is Many more tuts that deal with Cinema 4D and its modules here on CC... Great tuts that should be included in a Cinema 4D search, in my humble opinion.

A search for MoGraph should return all MoGraph tuts, which it does, but a search for Cinema 4D should include these tuts for MoGraph, as its the over all host app, but there are many not listed in the results.

Thanks for listening! The quick edit on the title on my first post was amazing, you guys are on it!


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Ron LindeboomRe: Tutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 3:29:11 pm

We needed one word that covered all of the articles. Tutorials are articles, sorry if that seems confusing to you but they are articles.

Sadly, Abraham has now switched the Articles link to read Library. We talked about this in the beginning but I didn't want to do it as I am not sure that many of our younger Americans know what a Library is. If the concept of Tutorials being Articles is tough for people to understand, then the Library seems like it will just further complicate the issue. In any case, the change is made and we will see how it plays out in the days ahead...

To understand the logic and simplicity of the Articles interface, if you click the Articles (now: Library) button, the first page you come to contains the 25 newest articles (most are tutorials) along with a list of tool-specific links (in the colored bar area along the right edge of the page) that points to articles related to the specific tool/forum you may be interested in. The list starts with After Effects and goes down the list from there. In the "C" area, there is Cinema4D.

So far, you have had to click one button to get this far -- and you have both the newest articles, the list of software- and hardware-specific articles along the rightside, and a list of links at the top that include all video tutorials, author names, etc., along the top to choose from.

All of this in one click.

So, from there, if you wish the Cinema4D-related articles (of which, the tutorials are presented in that sort along with other articles like reviews), you make a second click and there you are.

Not too difficult yet, eh?

So, with two clicks, you are now to the list of all the C4D articles.

If that is complicated, then I don't know how to make it any simpler.

We have nearly 900 articles in our library now and this is a clear, simple and logical way to get at this incredible wealth of information. What you originally described was Kathlyn's hand-coded page library that was easy to do when we had so few articles -- but things have changed over the years.

There are no perfect answers, only solutions. This is ours.

Thanks for your feedback, it is appreciated and we are talking about possible ways to simply the process even further. Thank you for your ideas and the report.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom


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Brian LynnRe: Tutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 5:05:39 pm

So why not call it "Forum related Articles and Tutorials" ??

I have a friend who watches the video tuts with me and watched the MoGraph tuts with me last night. Between my post and your reply, I called him, and asked him to go to the CC website, and replay one of the MoGraph tuts we wathed last night... he never found it. I even told him "tutorials are articles", and he still never found it. He called me back 20 minutes later and said "I give up, where the heck is it?"

Calling tutorials "articles" is confusing to me. Sorry about that but I just don't consider them "aritcles"... I consider them "training" or "tutorials" or something else.

I understand that the method of getting them onto the website makes them "articles" because of how they are posted, but its still confusing. All the other training/forum websites have separate areas for Forums, Tutorials, and Articles/News/Etc. I'm not saying conform and be like everyone else, but an obvious Tutorials area would be nice.

I have my sister looking at your website at the moment to see if she can find Rabinowitz tuts on After Effects... I will let you know how that goes! (both of my test subjects are not with me, I sent both text message with CC address and instructions on which Tut to watch)


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Brian LynnRe: Tutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 5:07:41 pm

And again, I'd just like to state: I love the Cow! You guys do great work, hard work, and lots of it... I just have this one beef! And of course I don't expect a change just for me, but I do feel that other will be just as confused as I, so I brought it up here!

Thanks for the awesome tuts/website!


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Brian LynnRe: Tutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 5:13:26 pm

One more thing...

If I click Library, and then click tutorials, I can see all the wonderful tuts you host...

But there is no option to sort, filter, or display just the ones I need for the host app... I have to go back to the previous page to get the Forum Related Articles area on the sidebar. No sidebar on the full tutorials list? The search is there, but I already said my issues with using Search to find tuts...


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AbrahamRe: Tutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 5:19:15 pm

Hey Brian,

Try searching "Cinema 4D" in quotes.
or click on the Cinema 4D link on the right side.

or from just about anywhere in the COW Library click on the sub nav that says "Authors" to get to a list of the Authors.

Abraham


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Brian LynnRe: Tutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 5:29:18 pm

search "cinema 4d" still gets me very few of the tutorials... I get 7 hits, and there is almost 7 just for MoGraph alone!

I see you've changed the name of the sidebar already! You guys rock, and you listen, which is why you rock! lol



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AbrahamRe: Tutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 5:32:10 pm

I count 39 results for my search for some reason - try this link which is a link to what I searched

http://library.creativecow.net/search.php?q=%22Cinema+4D%22

The first article doesn't directly relate to it but it is newer which is why it is on top and was associated with many of the different forums.



Abraham


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Brian LynnRe: Tutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 6:17:22 pm

i click your link, and I see 4 hits... where are you getting 39 from?


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Ron LindeboomRe: Tutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 7:04:09 pm

I clicked the link from both Mac and Windows machines in three different browsers and there are a bunch of articles there, many more than four.

One of your links returned over 40 articles for me, the other was almost as many but not quite.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom


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Brian LynnRe: Tutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 6:16:08 pm

The "front door" is a lot better now that the side bar is labled different. It makes more sense just looking at it.

I went looking for Tutorials, and from the Tutorials area, after clicking Tutorials links, there is no filtering... this just doesn't make sense no matter how slick or cool your "front door" is... although adding the word "tutorial" to the side bar title will help a lot I think.

My sister called me during my lunch hour and had no issues finding the tutorials, but she also didnt start looking until after the "Forum related Articles" title was changed to Tutorials and Articles...

It would be easy to "Slow down to look at what's on the page" but there is so much advertizing around that I tend to focus on just the center strip of the page... the sidebar is replaced by more ads every where you go...

I still don't understand why you have an issue with my complaint about not being able to sort or filter from the actual tutorials page itself... Its counter intuitive to think that to search for Tuts that I shouldn't be in the actual Tut area to do so...

http://library.creativecow.net/search.php?q=%22cinema+4d%22

this is my results for the "cinema 4d" search, with quotes. 7 hits. and my results for no quotes...

http://library.creativecow.net/search.php?q=cinema+4d

3 hits...

I CAN find everything I need to find... but being an interface designed turned video productions/AE guy I just find your interface to be lacking, but only where the tuts are concerned. Its just not as easy, or as slick as it Could be... it works, sure, but I think it would work better if you separate stuff maybe just a tad more...

My sister's first look at the website took her to Training tab immediately when looking for Tuts... She found them eventually under Library and the fact the sidebar is now called "tutorials/articles" or something similar... appreciate the change!!

I'm not trying to ridicule all the great work you guys do, and the condescending response was uncalled for. I'm not a moron, no need to treat me as such or use 3rd perosn references to imply as such.


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Brian LynnRe: Tutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 6:25:10 pm

All I wanted, from all this, was to try and help you guys by pointing out what I feel is a portion of your website that is difficult to understand, with the final result being a better, quicker interface for all your users, not just me...

I just wanted to try and help you help your community better!


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Brian LynnRe: Tutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 6:27:03 pm

i thought this:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/1/855476

applied to the website as a whole, not just the underlying programming...

if i was wrong, and you dont want/appreciate the input, then just tell me to STFU and I will go back to watching Tutorials and just get over it!


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Brian LynnRe: Tutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 7:06:35 pm

it's the "we're testing you and you failed" comments

wasn't "testing" you. trying to make the point that I am not the only one with this issue...

this was never about ME. its about your community. if i have the issue, then its likely other do aswhell, so i posted, and sent a friend to confirm for me that i'm not just a ranting crackhead... i was testing myself when i sent friends to your site...

and you're right, its a burnt topic, one that has been invalidated by the recent changes to a couple lables, that i feel will greatly facilitate your community in finding what's they want... and its more for the new users, the older established ones are likely used to the format.

Thanks for listening... sorry this became so many posts and all that! i never intended this to get so drawn out!!


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Brian LynnRe: Tutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 5:18:30 pm

I'm not sure you need to be quite as pessimistic about the "library" word... even in this modern digital age we still have "libraries". And, I would believe we have more than we ever had if you include all the libraries of stuff that come with all the different software programs. Library is a broad generic term, still commonly used, that would include all forms of media that you host on the site, including articles and tutorials. Just my view =)


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AbrahamRe: Tutorial access frustrations
by on Sep 19, 2007 at 6:46:00 pm

Feedback is always welcome - see you around the COW.

Abraham


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